On what could've been just another Monday, MLB is chug, chug, chugging along to make this one of the more interesting starts to a week than we've seen over the entire offseason. Across the country, the Dodgers swiftly traded a reliever then signed another this morning. Closer to home, the Royals extended Bobby Witt Jr. for 11 years and $288.7 million, making him one of the highest-paid players in baseball history.
In Detroit, the Tigers are making some (albeit smaller) moves of their own. After picking up pitcher Devin Sweet off of waivers from the A's, he was DFA'ed again by the Tigers on Jan. 29 and was outrighted to the minors today, left unclaimed by the baseball world at large. The team also claimed lefty Kolten Ingram from the Angels, and in a corresponding move DFA'ed Nick Maton, possibly closing the book on his oftentimes clumsily-executed major league stint with the Tigers.
Detroit Tigers DFA Nick Maton, make a few additional roster moves
Maton was traded to the Tigers from the Phillies at the beginning of 2023, along with Matt Vierling and Donny Sands, who was also DFA'ed in late December. The Tigers sent Gregory Soto and Kody Clemens in return. He'd put up good numbers in the minors and even some respectable ones in the majors with the Phillies over 35 games in 2022, but he stumbled when he came up to the club in Detroit.
The Tigers have had well-documented issues with third base, and although Maton came in attempting to remedy some of them, he fell short. He struck out nearly 25% of the time and batted .173/.288/.305 over almost 300 plate appearances. He was also sent back down to Toledo once during the season after a two-error day in June, the second of which allowed the Twins to take the lead in a game they would eventually go on to win.
Maton might end up staying in the Tigers' system if he clears waivers, but they seem to be fine without him taking a few turns at third base. Matt Vierling, Zach McKinstry, and Andy Ibañez are all expected to get turns there, and taking a fourth player out of the mix, at least for a little while, could help stabilize the team's lineups. If he does go back to Triple-A and manages to improve there, the Tigers could also have a depth option to turn to if things get dire again later in the season.